Don’t forget your prescriptions!

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NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group is advising patients not to leave it too late to order or collect repeat prescriptions over Christmas and New Year.

With the festive season upon us, the health body is reminding people that their local pharmacy or GP practice may only be open for a reduced period or closed over the bank holiday period. This means it is important that anyone with a long-term condition, needing regular medication, is prepared for this by having enough medicines to cover this period.

Dr Simon Stockill, GP and NHS Leeds West CCG’s Medical Director, said: “Running out of medicine over the festive period could have serious consequences for some patients and also has a knock on effect on other services. This is because many people will turn to A&E for their treatment because they have not got their medicines with them. It is important that people make arrangements to pick up repeat prescription so that they can enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.”

The CCG is also advising that people check their medicine cabinets so that they are prepared for winter.

Minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, headaches and diarrhoea can spoil festive gatherings but a well-stocked medicine cabinet can reduce the disruption they cause.

The CCG is encouraging people to check expiry dates on medicine they have at home and any medicine past its use-by should be taken to a pharmacy to be disposed of safely. Before taking any medication people should always read the information leaflet that comes with any medicine and keep it out of reach of children and young people.

If anyone needs non-prescription medicines, such as paracetamol or an antacid, and is unable to find an open pharmacy then places like a supermarket, newsagent or petrol station may stock a basic range of over-the-counter medicines and often have longer opening hours than high-street pharmacies.

For further advice on keeping healthy and safe this winter, including a full list of Leeds pharmacy opening times for the festive period, visit www.leedswestccg.nhs.uk/your-health/winter-health.